May 01, 2013

Salted Bourbon Caramel and Banana "Pudding Chômeur"... and my May giveaway!

You might want to hang on to your seat for this one. We're going into purely decadent territory today. 



I have barely been able to sit still the past few days in anticipation of announcing my May giveaway: a gift package from Fat Toad Farm, a goat farm in beautiful Vermont that makes the most exquisite caramel you've ever tasted! And wait, this isn't just any caramel. This is CAJETA!!! Cajeta is a traditional Mexican caramel made with goat's milk. And I've had an ongoing love affair with the stuff ever since I lived in Mexico 13 years ago, where you can buy it in any grocery store, by the tube or bottle, in candies, wafers, and even (a personal favourite), in your coffee. Here in Canada (and I imagine in the US as well), it's quite hard to find. So I was thrilled when I heard about Fat Toad Farm which is one of the very first producers of artisanal cajeta in the United States.


That photo right there perfectly describes what I wanted to do with my jars of caramel the day they arrived in the mail. We didn't actually drink it out of the jar with a straw but my sister and I did hover over it, eating it straight up with spoons and groaning with disbelief at how delicious it is. 


Fat Toad Farm is located on a winding dirt road in the hills of Central Vermont. Seven years ago, the family started off in their garage milking a French Alpine doe named Jupiter, and today, seven years later, they are milking Jupiter's great great great granddaughter Artemis, and 50 of her closest caprine friends in a modern milking parlour. From grazing the goats to milking, stirring the cajeta, bottling, labelling, marketing and shipping, everything is done on the family farm. I wish these lovely people were my neighbours!! 


Fat Toad caramel is made with just a few top-quality ingredients (primarily goat's milk and organic cane sugar) and what I love about it is that it isn't overly sweet the way some caramels are. 


The caramels come in 4 extra delicious flavours including: original, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and salted bourbon (my favourite!)



If you're a fan of goats like I am, you'll definitely want to check out Fat Toad Farm's Facebook page and see all their adorable goat photos. Along with some fabulous caramel recipes.


And if I may make a suggestion to you all, Mother's Day is coming up and here's what you might want to do. Go to Fat Toad Farm's website and order your mama some goats milk caramel. She deserves it. And so do you. So while you're at it, why not order yourself a couple jars and make my cajeta pudding chomeur? Because believe me, your mouth is going to explode in happiness.

HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY


Fat Toad Farm is kindly giving away a lovely gift package to a Kitchen Vignettes reader, including two 8oz jars of their heavenly Salted Bourbon Caramel in adorable hand-stamped burlap gift bags with tiny wooden spoons. This caramel is infused with Kentucky Straight Bourbon which lends its signature flavours of honey, butter, and a hint of dark fruit to Fat Toad Farm's original caramel palate. A hint of organic sea salt brings it all together and will make you swoon.

To enter the draw, simply leave a comment below sharing your favourite way to eat caramel or go to my Facebook page and share the Fat Toad Farm caramel photo. If you do both, you'll get 2 ballots in the draw. Please note that this month's giveaway is only available to residents of the United States. 

I will be drawing a name at random at the end of the month and announcing the winner on this blog and on Facebook. 


My recipe today is a goat-ey twist on a Québec classic that my mom used to make. Pudding Chômeur literally translates as "pudding of the unemployed", or as it is more often referred to in English, Poor Man's Pudding. It was a creation of Québecoise factory workers during the Great Depression and it has become one of my birth province's signature desserts. It consists of a white cake / dumpling batter over which a caramel or maple syrup sauce is poured before it is baked. The cake then rises through the syrup which sinks to the bottom and creates purely wicked deliciousness. Best thing is, it is dead-easy to make, and even easier to eat!

My plan was to make a plain cajeta pudding chômeur, and then I had the revelation that banana and Salted Bourbon Cajeta might shoot me straight to a very very nice place. Did it ever. 


Because I couldn't find my mom's recipe, I first experimented with several different versions of the recipe in search of the best dough texture. (Because this recipe is all about a good batter). I finally found what I was dreaming of over at my fellow Saveur award recipient, Tim's gorgeous blog Lottie and Doof. His version is adapted from the Au Pied de Cochon Cookbook and uses eggs instead of the full cup of milk many other recipes call for... and a lot more butter, which is generally a good thing! The consistency was exactly what I remembered as a kid. I reduced the sugar in my version since I find this dessert can be overly sweet at times. (Although I'm sure many people would say there is no such thing, in which case, please go ahead and use a full cup of sugar in the batter :-)

SALTED BOURBON CAJETA AND BANANA PUDDING CHÔMEUR
Makes 8 small ramekins or 1 large 9 x 12 inch baking dish

6 oz butter (12 tbsp)
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp milk

2 bananas, thinly sliced
1 jar (8oz /almost 1 cup) of Fat Toad Farm's Salted Bourbon Cajeta (can be purchased online and at Whole Foods and other specialty shops in the US) or make your own!
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp. butter

Preheat your oven to 325 F.
Cream the sugar and butter together and then incorporate the eggs, either using an electric mixer or a whisk. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder together well. Add the sugar mixture to the flour and gently mix, adding 4 tbsp of milk until the dough takes shape. Do not overmix this dough. As soon as it holding together, chill it for 30 minutes to an hour. (Tim's recipe call for refrigerating for 24 hours but I'm rarely organized enough to start my recipes the day before, so I just threw the bowl in the freezer for about 20 to 30 minutes and it turned out perfectly).

In a small saucepan, heat the cajeta, 1/2 cup water, and 3 tbsp. butter on medium heat. As soon as it begins to bubbles, remove from heat and stir well. 

Now butter up 8 small ramekins (you can also use a 9 x 12 baking dish if you prefer). In each ramekin, place 1 large tablespoonful of caramel sauce. Then add a large tablespoonful of batter on top, squish it down a wee bit and lay 4 thin slices of banana on top. Cover with  another heaping tablespoonful of caramel sauce followed by one more spoonful of dough. Arrange 4 more slices of banana on top and pour 2 more tablespoonfuls of caramel sauce on top. The ramekins should be about 3/4 full. The key to this recipe is using a lot caramel sauce! Even if it feels like you're putting too much sauce and your poor little lumps of dough are drowning in it, don't worry, this is what's going to give you the delicious gooey caramel covered dough that this pudding is famous for.

Place the 8 ramekins on a baking sheet (because the caramel is likely going to bubble up and spill over) and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes in a 325F oven or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and serve warm. Bon appétit mes amis!




44 comments:

  1. Salted caramel is ridiculously tasty just by the spoonful, but I'm particularly partial to swirling it in my own homemade ice cream. Toasted Coconut ice cream with salted caramel swirl and chocolate covered almonds...Heaven. In. My. Mouth.

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  2. I will eat good caramel, I mean good caramel on just about anything. Really. And I've yet to experience goat's milk caramel, but I can only imagine how amazing it is. So if I had to pick a favourite caramel experience, it would be spread thickly over good homemade Scottish shortbread with a drizzle of fair trade dark chocolate....

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  3. Love some good caramel. This stuff is awesome. I've only had the pleasure of trying it once but I'd love to get my hands on some of my own. I love it on apple pies, ice cream, and any other dessert I have.

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  4. Oh I see this stuff going all over some dark chocolate brownies. With walnuts.

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  5. Oh my! YUM! I always see fat toad farms gorgeous animals posted on Facebook and want to steal one, they are so cute! As for their caramel it's heaven in a jar! Delicious on Apple slices... or a original caramel and cookie butter ice cream sandwich, caramel apple cake... I've only tried the original and the vanilla bean, I'd love the opportunity to try the salted bourbon... sounds amazing!

    (I don't have any of the account listed below but my fb link is https://www.facebook.com/nicole.darakjian)
    Crossing fingers!!!!!

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  6. Ce n'est pas compliqué, je met mon doigt dans le pot et le lèche. C'est trop bon!!!

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  7. I love to eat carmel on my ice cream!! azariastar@live.com

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  8. absolutely divine!!!

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  9. It looks just delicious. Amazing recipe.

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  10. I'm going to try your recipe! I use it simply as a topping for vanilla ice cream too!

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  11. I think eating it with a spoon straight from the jar would be the way to go!

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  12. This recipe sounds amazing! I love the look of those caramelized bananas on top.

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  13. Janani Hari2 May 2013 10:58

    I luv the recipe and I'm gonna try this. I luv to eat caramel on a dobos torte!

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  14. I love eating caramel on ice cream!!! especially if its hot and the ice cream is kinda' melted :) MMmmm MMmmm

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  15. On ice cream, for sure! Will have to try Melissa C's suggestion with toasted coconut ice cream... That sounds devine!

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  16. Love caramel on cheesecake. Heavenly!
    karenreichmann@hotmail.com

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  17. I made my husband a caramel cake for his birthday this year from a wonderful Moosewood Restaurant recipe - it has definitely been my favorite caramel thus far!

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  18. that's just off the hook Aube!

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  19. I'm pretty much IN LOVE with caramel. I'm so interested to know what cajeta tastes like! Your pudding chômeur sounds so incredibly delicious and decadent, totally swoon-worthy! Especially with that salted bourbon cajeta... how can you not want to dig in like a mad woman?!
    I don't know if I have one favorite way to eat caramel. I love it in my lattes but also in desserts where it can act as its own layer of complex sugary deliciousness. :)

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  20. Caramel is divine. It's always been my favorite sweet topping ever since I was a wee little gal. While I enjoy eating any way under the sun, my stand by tried and true way is with sliced apples or bananas. It is the best movie snack!

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  21. I am SO excited I found this post! I haven't had caramel in years due to dairy allergies. I can't wait to try this! My favorite way to have caramel is drizzled over my grandmother's brownie recipe.

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  22. I think just putting it on vanilla ice cream is super good!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  23. I shared the photo on FB
    https://www.facebook.com/MsCarolsueA/posts/513479698709196
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  24. With a warm chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream! Drooling right now!

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  25. caramel in bread pudding. all day long

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  26. Always love to see those fresh stuffs from your website.

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  27. With a good Pink Lady apple!

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  28. ooooooooh this sounds amazing! I've never had goat milk caramel, and think I may have to get me some before this drawing is over. My favorite way to eat caramel is really simple, over vanilla ice cream with nuts and chocolate sauce. YUM!
    Trish


    www.jellybonesblog.blogspot.com

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  29. My ~favorite~ way to eat caramel is by adding a layer of buttery caramel to a nice pan of fudgy brownies after they've come out of the oven and cooled a bit. I sprinkle a little fleur de sel on top as a garnish.

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  30. Just shared the Fat Toad pic on fb also.

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  31. I can't say which is my favorite way to enjoy Fat Toad Caramel... If I turn my back while baking and it's on the counter my grandkids dip anything thing they can find in the fridge to nab a taste!

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  32. Mmm probably on a pretzel. Salty and sweet!

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  33. On homemade vanilla bean ice cream! (also shared on FB, Karen Goodwin Delaney)

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  34. Oooh - that looks so good! I would love to use it in my brownies.

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  35. Drizzled on cheesecake would be awesome. :)

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  36. I like to eat caramel on vanilla ice cream

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  37. databirth@hotmail.com2 June 2013 20:31

    I made it! This sounded like the ideal birthday treat for my sweetie who loves cajeta and puts bananas on everything. I couldn't find Fat Toad Farms at the Ann Arbor Whole Foods so I used another brand of cajeta and added bourbon and salt. Those flavors were not very strong so I will probably use more next time. Next time I will also not fill the ramekins past the 3/4 mark because the cajeta did spill out and there was very little left in the bowl. However, still delicious and the banana flavor really seeped through to the dough. The dough was perfect. Yum, thank you Aube! -Sacha F., Ann Arbor, MI

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  38. Great work! Love your photos and wonderful recipe!

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. I love caramel drizzled over bananas and vanilla ice cream,or in a mocha milkshake.

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  41. I absolutely love caramel paired with apples. YUMM. There is nothing like baking something delicious with apples and caramel in the fall=)

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  42. I put it over devils food chocolate cupcakes, flavored with coffee, you can see on my blog if you want.

    We call it ribat chalav over here, and my favorite one is also from goats milk!

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  43. I love it drizzled over ice cream or swirled into brownie batter!

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  44. Want to make a grown woman swoon?? Feed me caramel. Especially soft caramel you can let melt in your mouth. Salted is even extra amazing! I can't wait to try to make it at home and/or order some. Your receipts are mouthwatering just reading them. So glad I found this blog and have you bookmarked! Here come the pounds.. but well earned :)

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